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Evelyn Marie Brockman Damron



My Grandma, Evelyn Marie Brockman Damron, was born in a smoke-house in Adair County, Oklahoma in 1941 to Opal and James Brockman. Her faddy spent the depression years riding the rails and freight cars up and down the country as a migrant worker. Grandma immortalised some of his exploits in a poem entitled "Daddy was a Hobo." Towards the end of the great dust bowl Opal and Jim left the Ozark farm where Opal had grown up and headed out west to California with my Grandma and her siblings Kenneth, Larry, Joan and Patsy in tow. Grandma spent her childhood in Montgomery Creek in Shasta, California. When she was a little girl, her big brother, Kenneth would load her and her siblings in his model A Ford, called Henry, every week for Sunday school where at the age of five, Grandma convinced her teacher that she had learned to read well enough to get her first bible.

After High School she attended the Biola Bible Institute and shortly thereafter met her first husband Norman Kern. They lived together near Redding, California and had three children, Nathan, Darrin, and Kimberly. When the marriage ended, and my Grandpa Norman moved to Montana, Grandma left her home and family and brought her kids to Montana as well so that they could be near their dad. She would still haul the kids back to California once a year. The trip that would normally take a day or two would take Grandma a solid week. She had to stop at every wide spot in the road. To smell every flower, wade in every stream, and jump in every haystack. She never missed an opportunity to enjoy life's simple pleasures and she instilled that same sense of adventure and joy in her children and grandchildren. She taught us all that you never really have to grow up.

Grandma made a life for herself and her kids in Troy, Montana where she worked a number of jobs, volunteered as a Sunday school teacher, and wrote a weekly newspaper column "Around Troy With Evelyn Kern." Every day after work she and her friend Donna would go for their coffee fix in Sunny's Cafe. "The coffee was only a quarter and they would refill your cup as much as you wanted while you sat back and watched the world go by." For a single mother in Troy it made for a nice afternoon treat and so the long-standing tradition of the "Sunny's Fix" was born.

There was never a woman more devoted to coffee. She roasted her own beans, so they would be good and fresh and brewed hot coffee so strong you could float a horseshoe in it. When I was a boy growing up in Bull River, Grandma would bring me up the trail to her cabin in the morning for coffee time. She would let all of the animals into the house. Dogs, cats, chickens, everything, even a tame deer and we would watch the sun coming up over the mountain and have coffee time. She would tell me stories and poems, or her observations about faith and the scriptures. She was always ready with a song and would sing a verse or whip out her harmonica or three stringed guitars whenever she felt the occasion called for it, which was fairly often as it happens. Grandma taught me everything she thought a boy might need to know. She taught all of us, her kids and grandkids that way. She shared her wisdom, faith and love with everyone that she met. Grandma never had much, but she was the richest person that I have ever known. She taught me by example how to be generous and kind and how to trust God to meet our needs and to be thankful and content with the things we have.


In 2000 Grandma got another chance at love when she met her husband Steve Damron. They were two peas in a pod and did everything together. Steve even shared her love of fresh roasted coffee. His daughter Carrie says that she could smell the coffee roasting from the highway as she would drive past the cabin on Bull River. The two of them looked after one another and spent 18 happy years together.

Grandma left this world to be with our Lord on the third of June, 2018. Her absence leaves a hole in all of us who loved her that can never be filled, but she taught us that for those who have faith in Christ, their true home is in heaven. I have never met, nor do I expect to meet anyone with greater faith than my Grandma Evelyn.

Thank you, Father, for giving us Evelyn for 77 years. Amen.

-Branden Kern

Memorial will be held at the Heron Baptist Church on the morning of Saturday, July 7, at 11 a.m. A potluck lunch to follow.


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